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As South Africans sat waiting for a resolution of the hostage situation with President Jacob Zuma, it was easy to miss a number of developments sweeping through our investment markets, none of them positive. Despite some enthusiasm for SA generated by Cyril Ramaphosa’s ascent to power, we could not escape unscathed by the massive sell-off in US equity markets, which translated into a similar sell-off in South African equities. We have become used to our savings generating consistently positive returns to the point of complacency. But now that central banks worldwide are withdrawing their supportive measures, such as low rates and massive injections of cash into their economies, we should expect the unexpected. Quantitative easing was phase one of a massive global economic experiment. The withdrawal of liquidity will be phase two. One thing is certain: we must prepare for a lot more volatility. That means risk management becomes key when managing investments. Apart from a general sel...

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